Nathan Elvery 20 April 2011

Money Matters

Money Matters image

English authorities are planning to use reserves on a scale not seen in almost a decade, with more than 30 authorities across the land expecting to reduce their reserves by more than one-third.

Now, I don’t subscribe to a particular view that any authority has been ‘hoarding’ money, in fact, any finance director worth their salt would not be prepared to see reductions in frontline services just so reserves and balances could remain protected.

Each section 151 officer is required under the Local Government Act 2003 to report on the robustness of the budget estimates and the adequacy of the planned reserves when the council tax decision is being made by the full council.

At present, that advice enables action to be taken to guide our authorities through the choppy cold waters we find ourselves in but, just as importantly, towards calmer, safer waters. As the American writer, Dale Carnegie, once said: ‘Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage.’

So, does it come as any surprise that the use of reserves and balances to this scale is taking place? No. We haven’t seen this scale of local government funding reduction or this size of this national deficit for in almost a decade.

No wonder then that within our strategies of good financial planning and management, confident action is taking place to navigate and plan for protecting our frontline services, while protecting the financial robustness of our organisations for the short, medium and long term.

Local government within the public sector has proven time and time again the ability to cope and manage the financial demands placed on it.

As the Chinese-American movie star, Bruce Lee, once said: ‘I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.’

Nathan Elvery is deputy chief executive at Croydon LBC

The LATCo model image

The LATCo model

Mark Scott explains how local authorities can deliver profit with a purpose.
SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Service Manager - Fostering - North Essex

Essex County Council
Negotiable
North Essex Fostering are excited to be able to offer a Fixed Term Contract or secondment opportunity for a Service Manager post for the Fostering Tea England, Essex, Colchester
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Labour Group Political Assistant

Birmingham City Council
Up to £34,980
Are you confident dealing with the press, and providing political advice to senior local politicians? Birmingham, West Midlands
Recuriter: Birmingham City Council

Conservative Group Political Assistant

Birmingham City Council
Up to £34,980
Are you confident dealing with the press, and providing political advice to senior local politicians? Birmingham, West Midlands
Recuriter: Birmingham City Council

Internal Audit Manager

The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea Council
£43,300 - £58,500 per annum
In this role you will supervise the delivery of work assigned to staff and partner providers and liaise closely with Senior Officers at... Kensington and Chelsea, London (Greater)
Recuriter: The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea Council

Equalities, Diversity and Inclusion Programme Manager

London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth
£43,833 - £53,115 per annum
Are you an experienced Equality, Diversity and Inclusion specialist, looking for the opportunity to lead organisation wide change? London (Greater)
Recuriter: London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth

Public Property

Latest issue - Public Property News

This issue of Public Property examines how how flexible workspaces can lead the way in regeneration for local authorities, Why local authority intervention is key to successful urban regeneration schemes and if the Government’s challenge of embracing beauty is an opportunity for communities.

The March issue also takes a closer look at Blackburn with Darwen Council's first digital health hub to help people gain control over health and care services.

Register for your free digital issue